Historically, a doula was a female servant who helped a woman during her childbearing year. In modern times, a doula is a professional labor and birth, or postpartum assistant. They are sometimes trained through an organization, like I am with Doula Training Canada, or they may have no formal training.
As a doula, my role is to help you have the birth experience you want, and providing information and support if those wishes differ from the current situation. My doula training and extended learning training have given me many tools to help with labor, delivery and postpartum issues that may come up.
Doulas are not medical people. I do not deliver babies or monitor mom’s health during pregnancy. Those things are best left to midwives or doctors. Instead, I provide clear information to expecting parents about pregnancy, labor and birth. During labor and birth, I provide emotional and physical support for my client.
This physical support can be as simple as a cool cloth on the forehead or deep pressure during contractions.
Research has been done to show that doulas help to reduce the length of labor, the risk of a cesarean birth, the use of pain medication and the perceived pain of labor.
Hiring a doula to help you through your pregnancy, labor and birth is a wonderful way to ensure you are supported during your birth experience.